A Living Room that Feels Like Home

Home and a Living Space

The physical location of our home has changed more times than I care to count but what hasn’t changed has been my desire to make us feel at home as quickly as possible in a new space.  It hasn’t always been easy building a home.  As a new bride I didn’t have a lot to work with and what I did have was rather random.  Hand me down tables and chairs paired with the cheapest couch we could find to fill a living room with handmade art. . . but it felt like home.

Start with the Basics

Over the years we have collected pieces that we love paired with our old green couch we just can’t get rid of . . because its perfectly broken in and filled with memories of snuggling our babies with bedtime books.  Each new home we move into starts with that key piece and then we layer additional pieces around it based on the unique layout of the home.


After the larger pieces of furniture get added in . . then the fun begins.  I love playing “furniture Tetris” until it gets just right.  Piece by piece it comes together with lamps and end tables.  Lastly, blankets and throw pillows are added in varying textures and colors to make it feel like home.

Knick Knacks

After the layers of texture and color are added with varying fabrics, I add in the unique knick knacks and heirloom pieces we have collected over the years.  Don’t be afraid to use items in unique ways to display flowers or artwork to make it feel like home.

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Money Priorities

Money Priorities

In last week’s session we spoke with Ashley Stork of Wedding Vine Events and discussed how to make a reasonable wedding budget priorities. In this week’s video we are going to take money that we have budgeted and pair it with priorities. If you missed our first episode click (here) to watch the series from the beginning.

Weddings and Money

So it has come time to actually place money to things you want for your wedding. Often, we find brides that have very grandiose plans for their day and are unaware of how much money it will take to actually take to make those dreams a reality. In this video we have outlined a few steps to make this process easier:

  1. Place a defines amount of money next to each priority based on its value- For this step you will put a dollar amount next to each priority for the amount you want to spend. Keep in mind this is only a preliminary amount and not the final amount. This step just gives you an idea about how much you think you should spend for each category. I guarantee this will change as you go through this exercise but we have to have a starting point.
  2. Do Market Research- This is a vital step in the budgeting process. Doing your research will help to determine if the vendor meets your needs. You may find the vendor or their services are not what you want for the price point you have at this time. If this is the case, you may have to redistribute some money to that priority to get what you want. Make sure to ask for any hidden costs associated with the package you have chosen to avoid any sticker shock at the end.
  3. Adjust the money to each priority as needed- Once you have your vendors and packages all lined up, it is time to adjust your numbers. This is where priorities are so vital. KEY POINT!! If the item is not a high priority, don’t reallocate a lot of money to it. Sometimes during the wedding planning process you may get what we call “planning fog”. This occurs when everything just becomes kind of blurry and everything turns into a priority. We urge you to be careful about this because it will save you a lot of headaches in the end.

Once you have completed step three you will need to break out a calculator. You will have to add all of your expenses up to make sure they have not gone over your total budget. If they have you may have to allocate more money or cut something. KEY POINT!! Make sure both you and your fiancée’ are involved during this whole process to ensure there is no surprises. Make sure you stay tuned for next week for our 5 tips.

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Determine Your Budget | Magnolia Vine Events

Determine a Budget

Our wedding planning budget series started last week. This wedding series is really aimed at giving you some great tips to establishing a budget, sticking to it, and some tips that will really help you save some money. Let’s face it, weddings are expensive and any way we can save money and still get the wedding you want is a win for everyone. In the last blog post we covered setting priorities (link this to first post). Today our video blog series will cover what a reasonable budget will look like.

Budget Specialist

To help us with todays video on determining a budget, we are joined by one of our favorite wedding planners.  Ashley Stork started in the wedding business with planning her own wedding.  Now, she is the owner of Magnolia Vine Events. In this interview Ashely answers several questions that cover key topics when addressing the budget planning process.

Key Questions

  1. What is the first thing any couple should do when setting a budget?
    1. Most people find out how much money they have and go make a budget. Ashley actually recommends getting your guest list together first and having those conversations with the whole family on both sides. She also spoke that last year in the United States the average wedding budget was $35,000 for 150 guests (about $225/ guest).
  1. What are some of the pitfalls?
    1. Emotion in the budget
    2. No communication
    3. Not doing your research into your vendors and their typical price
    4. Coming up with an arbitrary budget number out of the air and saying that is your budget
  1. Top tips:
    1. Step 1: Take rough guest count and multiply by $225 and establish if the budget is feasible.
    2. Step 2: Do your research into the prices for your vendors
    3. Step 3: Decide your priorities
    4. Step 4: Take 10% of budget and keep it aside for miscellaneous expenses

Stay tuned for our next blog in this series discussing taking your budget and applying it to what you want on your day. If you liked this blog, sign up for our newsletter below to get the latest information and deals we offer. See you next week.

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Setting Budget Priorities for Your Wedding Day


Setting Budget Priorities

Imagine, on a nice sunny day your boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes a question you wanted to hear since you were a little girl. Emotions completely overwhelm you as you say yes and fall into his arms of embrace. Nothing can go wrong. The perfect husband, the perfect ring and the perfect life. After you reach out and tell your friends, post some Instagram stories, and take some pictures, you start to think of that perfect wedding day you dreamed of as a child. This day will have beautiful flowers to captivate your family, a gorgeous dress that will impress your future groom, a beautiful venue decorated to the nine, and outstanding food that everyone will talk about for years to come. The perfect day to the start of a life with one another.

Does this sound familiar to anyone. This dream is possible for any bride on any budget and this is the focus of this series. Too often brides become so fixated on the budget they forget about the big picture. We are hoping that by taking a practical approach to your wedding budget you can have the wedding of your dreams. The first step in our four part series starts with setting your priorities.

The Budget Priorities Exercise

Priorities will provide a perspective to your budget. Think of them as the guide to how you will spend your budget for your special day. One of the exercises we take our brides through we call the priority exercise. It doesn’t take long and will help you immensely with your wedding budget. The three steps are:

  1. List all things that are priority for both you and your fiancée (have two separate lists). They can be in any order the important thing is to just put them down. Here are some examples of priorities:
    1. Reception
    2. Food
    3. Wedding Venue
    4. ReceptionVenue
    5. Photography
    6. Guest Gifts
    7. Decorations for the Wedding
    8. Decorations for the Reception
    9. Honeymoon
    10. Rehearsal Dinner
    11. Hair and makeup
    12. Flowers
    13. Invitations
    14. Wedding Planner
    15. DJ
  2. This step will combine both lists into one. Look at both lists and if you have a priority listed on both of them, put it towards the top of another piece of paper and then list all others mentioned on both lists under it. Then draw a horizontal line to cut the paper in half. All the other priorities that were mentioned on each list but not on both, put below this line. We do this to show which priorities will have more importance as they were mentioned on both lists.
  3. Now here comes the actual prioritizing and the way we recommend you do it is by asking yourself:
    1. Why is this a priority to me?
    2. Will I be able to remember this 10 years from now?
    3. How will this impact my wedding if it is not done?

If you answer these questions honestly, especially the last one, it should make prioritizing your wedding day a lot easier.

Once you have prioritized them put them on a final sheet of paper in their correct order. Don’t prioritize things because your family tells you to. This is your wedding and no one else’.

Final Thoughts on Budget Priorities

We are hoping that this series provides invaluable information about how to set a wedding budget. If you enjoyed this blog post stay tuned for next week and subscribe to our newsletter for more content. Also, please join our YouTube channel as we will be posting more videos for your to enjoy.

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